When I first heard of, Master Sword I was incredibility excited. I was randomly web surfing and I saw the words "The Legend of Zelda inspired metal band". I thought to myself, I like metal music and I adore The Legend of Zelda series so this was a match made in heaven for me, and I'm sure that's the case for a lot of us metal and gaming fans. So I picked up a copy of their new album, Shadow and Steel and I was really happy with what I heard. Not only was it filled to the brim with all sorts of power metal goodness. The lyrical content is actually quite excellent, making reference to the gaming series here and there but also I feel it's vague enough that you don't need to know of the Zelda franchise to enjoy it.
Taking familiar themes and melodies from the games and turning them into really nice riffs and licks, it makes for very grandiose and interesting song-writing and I felt that it was well implemented into the songs. There are a lot of parts that I really like, from the blistering guitar solos and the well executed rhythm sections to the entertaining melodies and harmonies. Most of the instruments coming through clear as a bell. The tone they get is big and bold as the try to keep the epic feel to the music. The guitars have a decent bite to them and when it comes to the solos, it's precise and consistant. The synth and keys are well done too adding an aura of mystique and ties the songs together. To be honest the lyrics fit with the genre, most symphonic or power metal is usually about swords and sorcery, magic and adventure. So it really fits in well with the sound. The vocal performance in the tunes is powerful with every line is sung with conviction and helps sell the setting and the stories.
Although I enjoy the album, I think that some of the instruments can sound a little thin here and there. I would like more impact out of the drums and they often can be quite tinny. I think that there should be more of a bang to them. Also the bass just bleeds into the guitar sound rather than making a real impact. Nothing absolutely terrible, just would have liked the overall tone to be a little thicker and it feels like the sound is being stretched too thin.
Genuinely very impressed by Master Sword. They've certainly won my attention and I shall be keeping a close eye on them from now on. I do like me some good power metal and if you're into this genre, I'd recommend them. The Zelda influence certainly helps them stand out as they're appealing to a established fan base which is a smart idea. Rather than just trying to appeal to the metal music market.